Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Why Are People So Surprised?

I don't understand it. Why are so many Americans shocked by the fact that Russians strongly oppose the idea of the United States building a missile defense system in the Czech Republic and Poland? Those countries are in Russia's front yard.
Would we cheer if Russia announced plans to build a similar system in Canada? In Mexico? I hardly think so. Defense systems can quickly be converted to offense systems and that shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.
The Russians are fine people if left alone. The world owes them a debt of gratitude because without them we might all be living under a swastika banner. Too many Americans are prone to saying we won World War II. We didn't. We helped win it. Without Russia's involvement the German army couldn't have been defeated. Remember, that would have been the German army of 1941 and not the clapped out remnants we encountered when Italy and France were invaded. By then the cream of that 1941 German army was pushing up daisies on the Russian Front.
If you doubt that, consider this. Sixty-three years ago today was D-Day in Normandy. The landings and the battles that followed in establishing a solid beachhead were brutal. Opposing the Allies were 12 German divisions, many of them less than first rate by German standards. Nineteen more were stationed to the north at the Pas de Calais and there were a few in the south of France.
At that time how many were engaged on the Russian front? Not 12, not 31, not 40 but 146. Imagine what it would have been like if a fraction of that number had awaited us in France. And they would have been 1941 divisions, not those previously decimated while fighting in Russia.
General George Patton, whose mouth was bigger than his brain, thought we should have tackled the Russians after Germany was defeated. The former German soldiers I got to know while an MP after the war found that suggestion hilarious. They had fought us, fought the British, fought the Russians. To a man they believed the Russians would have pushed the Americans and British back into the English Channel in a month at the most.
During the week leading up to the dropping of the atom bomb on Hiroshima the Russians opened an offensive against the Japanese. Opposing them were some of the finest troops the Japanese possessed. The Russians rolled them up at an average of 25 miles a day. The Russian infantrymen must have been double timing just to keep up. Don't think that didn't play a role in the Japanese decision to surrender. They had seen what happened to the Germans.
No one ever went wrong by leaving the Russians alone. Napoleon found that out because he didn't. Hitler found that out because he didn't. They make good friends but bad enemies so no one in his right mind would poke that sleeping bear with a stick. World War III wouldn't be much fun for anyone so let's hope George W. Bush remembers that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Russia should offer president Chav├ęz from Venezuela a similar "defence" system.

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Bob Greer said...

Dick; been reading your blog since Jan this year. This article and the one concerning life for you and family during the depression era were thought provoking. I am a lucky fellow to know and respect you. Bob Greer

12:18 PM  

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